As someone who has not used Joomla! before, you need to know how to get started. Maybe you have a friend or a neighbour who uses Joomla! and you want a Joomla! web site of your very own. Maybe you have a small business or a club or a community that needs a web presence, and you want to use Joomla! for that purpose. Maybe you are a seasoned Information Technology professional, but you have never Joomla! before. If so, you are just starting a very enjoyable journey and we warmly welcome you to Joomla!
Welcome to Joomla!, a leading open source Content Management System (CMS) platform. Joomla! is a well-tested, extensible and effective tool supported by a very active and friendly community of developers and users.
Do you want to get started with Joomla!, but you have no idea where to begin? If so, you have come to the right place.
Although you could spend a lifetime learning Joomla!, if you master the basics you will be able to make a very attractive and useful basic website in very little time and with no special technical skills.
Joomla! is software that lets you make and update web pages easily.
You can think of a Joomla! website as bringing together three elements.
You might want to learn how Joomla! is built and how its features work together.
In short, Joomla! is composed of a Platform and extensions. There are several types of extensions, each capable of performing specific tasks. Some extensions are developed as part of the Joomla! project and come with your installation. If you want to add features to your site, you can install more extensions.
You can compare this to a computer operating system, like Microsoft Windows or Linux. You don't directly use the operating system (Joomla!); you use applications (extensions) to carry out tasks. Some applications (extensions) are immediately available on your system, but can install and remove additional applications (extensions) at any time.
There are several ways to install Joomla!.
If you want to test Joomla! and you haven't purchased a domain yet, you can install Joomla! on your own computer (without your site appearing on the Internet), you can install it using the XAMPP package. You can also create a working website at demo.joomla.org, which is easy and well-supported.
If you want your site to be available on the Internet, make sure that you have an account on a web server. For most people this means signing up with a hosting company and purchasing a domain that will serve as your site's main address.
For support with installation, you can ask questions in the installation forum.
Now that you have a working Joomla! site, you will want to start filling it with your own content and making it look just the way you want. Before doing that, it is a good idea to learn more about how to work with Joomla!. There are a number of very useful resources to help you with this.
One way is to learn by working with the sample data.
For support as you are learning, ask questions in the New to Joomla1/General Joomla! v 1.5 forum.
The Joomla! Demo site is a good place to try out many of these features if you have not yet done an installation.
The Glossary will help you as learn more.
Now you're ready to start making your own articles, weblinks, contacts, banners, and newsfeeds. Before you jump into doing this you may want to review Planning Your Web site. Or if you want to convert your current website to Joomla!, read Converting an existing website to a Joomla! website.
Before you do anything else, you should decide if you want to enable Search Engine Friendly URLs (described here). Enabling or disabling them later will destroy the rankings your pages will have acquired with search engines.
One of the first tasks you may want to do is to modify one of the templates that comes with Joomla! so that it displays your site name and logo.
Finally, you may want to install one or more of the thousands of extensions to Joomla!. Most Joomla! extensions are listed in the official Joomla! Extensions Directory (JED). Once you've found an extension to install, Installing an extension will tell you how to install it.
Please remember that all extensions are developed by independent developers. If you need help with a specific extension the best source will be that developer.
For help visit:
Security is always a big concern on the web. Make sure you are using best security practices. The basic techniques on the Security Check List will get your site off to a good start in terms of security.
The Joomla! forums are the among the busiest (and most friendly) support forums in the world, and they are a great place to get help and meet other Joomla! users.
The remainder of this document briefly covers some slightly more advanced topics for web masters.
Learn to backup your Joomla! database. Learn to restore your Joomla! database. Frequent backups are the best way to make sure you can recover if your site has a problem. This video entitled How to backup and restore a Joomla! database using phpMyAdmin by kristofdb.
Watch this video by James Ramsey entitled How to Recover your Administrator Password using phpMyAdmin.
People creating complex websites often like to work on their own computer and to move the whole site to their web server when it is ready.
To do this you will need to install a webserver (such as Apache or IIS), PHP and MySQL on your local machine. There are a number of tools that make it easy to do this.
For Apache you can install XAMPP and then perform a normal web based Joomla! installation on your computer.
For IIS you can install the Windows Web platform.
There are many great things you can do with Mootools, included in Joomla! v 1.5. Check out these resources to learn how:
There are other simple things you can do with templates to achieve the look you need. These simple tutorials could be very helpful.
If you are having trouble installing a template, see How to resolve problems with a template installation Scribd by Chad Windnagle (drmmr763).
Search Engine Optimization is the practice of doing whatever is needed to help make your Web site rank higher in return results for a search engine. For some, this is very important aspect of attracting visitors to their site. Most experts agree, however, that the single best way to improve your chance of getting attention on the Internet is to provide good content on a regular basis. There are several things that you can do using core functionality to make your Joomla! Web site more SEO friendly. Here are some important areas to focus.
Questions on these topics should be asked in the Joomla! v 1.5 SEO Forum.
Check out the Converting an existing website to a Joomla! website guide for great step by step instructions.
Most of this material was written by Joomla! Google Highly Open Participation Contestants. This work is of the highest quality and the students were inspiring to work with. Sincere thanks to all of our participants for sharing their gifts with the Joomla! community. You guys rock!